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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Aaron Henry, April 2, 1974. Interview A-0107. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Hopes for the future of Mississippi politics

Henry shares his vision of Mississippi's political future. His vision is optimistic. He sees a Democratic Party that benefits from black involvement, and a political environment where race is not paramount. Despite his optimism he confesses that Mississippi represents the nadir of race relations in America.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Aaron Henry, April 2, 1974. Interview A-0107. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACK BASS:
What kind of Democratic party do you see in Mississippi five years from now?
AARON HENRY:
Well, as I say, it depends upon the national posture. And if, with Bob Straus' assistance and the Democrats recapture the White House, I can see the Democratic party that's not foreign from South Carolina, that's really not foreign from Florida. You know, I can see a Democratic party where there are blacks involved, intimately involved within the political savoir faire of the community, that have a genuine concern, interest and respect and position of importance with each other. And I don't think that race is going to be the strongest factor that compels people together. [Interruption in tape.] Politically, white leadership in Mississippi just feels that it has to be the worst thing. You know, Jim Crow laws in this country had its genesis in Mississippi and they lasted longer, you know, in this state than anywhere else. It's just something about our state that destines Mississippi to be the last people to get aboard.